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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

.348               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

This means that the hand takes part in speech, and just as
the child speaks continually, so does he draw; he expresses himself
with his phonetic organs, and he expresses himself with his hand,
•showing latent tendencies of which he is not yet conscious.

Indeed the history of writing shows that it was originally
drawing, as it is in pictography.   The many documents of the most
primitive pictography of different pre-historic peoples very often
resemble the free drawings of a child, especially in the represen-
tation of the human figure.   These strange drawings have a very
clear purpose, that of communicating with other men by means
•different from that of the human voice.   Then from the primitive
pictographs there came a transition in the course of the evolution
•of civilization to the symbolical representation of syllables which
-are not comprehensible (like many children's drawings), and there-
fore it is necessary to give them a conventional interpretation;
for hieroglyphics like the spoken languages came to differ as
the characters distinctive of a people, e.g. Egyptian and Hittite

Finally, in the alphabet, drawings are simplified, and no longer
represent syllables or ideas, but the sounds themselves with which
•spoken language is composed and thus there is established an
•easy writing, which at the same time is the exact reproduction of
spoken language, as if the mind inherited whole and intact the
gift of expressing itself with the hand as well as with the spoken

To conclude, the best way to influence drawing is not to leave
it free, but to prepare the natural means for producing it, which
is to educate the hand. True talent will be manifested by itself,
and there will be no harmful lessons in drawing intended to help
it, those wicked lessons which might even stifle it. But the aban-
donment of the evident efforts of the child to express himself with
the hand is an obstacle to the free development of drawing. To
-counteract this, we must enrich the environment with the means
•of expression, and indirectly prepare the hand for fulfiling its
function to the utmost. The eye takes note of things with more